In the Community
- Created: Tuesday, 06 May 2014 20:40
LeavenLaw partner, Ian R. Leavengood, was recently asked to address the Commercial Vehicle Training Association to assist it and its members in complying with federal laws that regulate how consumers may be solicited using automatic telephone dialing systems. The CVTA is the largest trade association in the United States representing the interests of truck driving schools, students and the businesses that depend on their services. The CVTA works with its members and partners on critical industry issues and is the voice of commercial vehicle education throughout the United States. The CVTA member schools operate both accredited and state licensed schools at over 180 training locations in over 40 states nationwide; Our member schools train approximately 50,000 drivers per year; A majority of CVTA member schools have extremely high placement rates as commercial drivers are in high demand;
Telephone marketing and solicitation is prevalent in this industry. Many truck driving schools will get internet leads from people allegedly wanting more information regarding how to learn to drive a truck and earn a better living. Truck driving schools will typically then call them to solicit their membership to their school; to enroll in their program. Most schools, however, use technology or an "auto-dialer" to calls these internet leads. If the calls are being placed to a cellular telephone, the caller could be in trouble unless they have the "prior express written consent" to place or initiate such call.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, is a federal law that governs use of technology when placing calls to individuals. For example, the "Do-Not-Call" Registry was created by the TCPA. Further, the TCPA regulates "spam texts" and "junk faxes" making both illegal in certain circumstances and costing violators many times thousands of dollars or more. 47 United States Code, Section 227.
One of the most common violations is a person or organization:
- initiating or placing a call,
- to a person's cellular telephone,
- using an automatic telephone dialing system (for non-emergency purposes),
- without the recipient's prior express consent
to do so. In such case, the recipient have the ability to sue the caller in court and, if successful, recover between $500.00 and $1,500.00 per call. Further, as a person or entity that places one call in violation may do it both many times and to many people, TCPA cases for auto-dialed or "robo-dialed" calls to cell phones many times end up as class action lawsuits that can cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in damages.
"I am glad Ian took the time to come down and share his experience and knowledge with the members of the CVTA," said Brad Ball, an executive with the trade organization. "It is important that we learn the law when contacting people about attending a school, as well as protect our members' well-being."
Ian R. Leavengood, is the founding member and President of LeavenLaw, a consumer litigation firm that traces its roots back to 1972 in St. Petersburg, FL. LeavenLaw and its attorneys focus on consumer protection law, including litigation under the TCPA. LeavenLaw has sued many large bank, mortgage companies and debt collectors for unlawfully auto-dialing a consumer's cell phone without prior express consent to do so. If you are getting robo-dialed calls to your cell phone, or spam texts, please gather evidence of such call or text (save the voicemail, take a screen shot of the text or call, write down information about the call, etc.) and call LeavenLaw to set up a free consultation. We take TCPA cases on a contingency basis and will look forward to helping you.